Code and data

In a recent Stack Overflow question, I answered a question which started off with a broken XPath expression by suggesting that that poster might be better off using LINQ to XML instead. The discussion which followed in the comments (around whether or not this was an appropriate answer) led me to think about the nature of code and data, and how important context is. I don’t think there’s any particularly deep insight in this post – so I’ll attempt to keep it relatively short. However, you might like to think about how code and data interact in your own experience, … Continue reading Code and data

Writing the perfect question

Update: now that I’ve actually posted this, I’ve added a tinyurl to it for easy reference: Nice and easy to remember for comments 🙂 A while ago, I wrote a blog entry on how to answer questions helpfully on sites like Stack Overflow. Recently I saw a meta question about bad questions and thought it would be worth following up with another blog post on asking questions. For the sake of convenience – and as Stack Overflow is so popular – I will assume the question is going to be asked on Stack Overflow or a similar Stack Exchange … Continue reading Writing the perfect question

Reflecting on presentation skills: The Guathon, August 13th 2010

(I apologise for the unstructured nature of this post. I honestly don’t know how to structure it. I’ve thought of a few ways of breaking it up by heading, and none of them really work. Particular apologies to Simon Stewart, who has requested more brevity in my blog. Just for Simon, the executive summary is: Scott Guthrie is a really good speaker. I want to be more like him.) Yesterday I had the good fortune (well, good friends – thanks Phil!) to attend the Guathon in London. This was a free, day-long event with Scott Guthrie and Mike Ormond, talking … Continue reading Reflecting on presentation skills: The Guathon, August 13th 2010